[opendtv] Re: FCC on national ownership caps for station groups
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 07:13:13 -0500
On Dec 18, 2017, at 4:48 PM, Manfredi, Albert E
The right thing to do here is to push the court and/or Congress, to eliminate
the UHF discount, which is truly ridiculous these days, and to eliminate the
national cap. If this Chairman is honest about "eliminating unnecessary
regs," that's the honest course of action. But this Chairman has proven to be
anything BUT honest. A real phony, in fact. No doubt, he's worried that doing
so would easily result in the UHF discount being re-eliminated instantly, but
the national cap being retained. For some reason, he finds it impossible to
just do his job, without forcing a solution he has pre-ordained.
The NPRM asks if the FCC has the authority to raise the ownership caps Bert.
Nothing phony here at all except the fact that the media is pushing a phony
story about who will benefit most if the caps are raised or eliminated.
Yesterday I heard an ad on the radio from someone who is a traditionally
reliable conservative voice. The ad opposed the ownership cap increase but did
not mention Sinclair and Tribune, the companies that have been the focus of
this debate. The ad focused on the companies who would gain the most from this
FCC order - the four or five commercial broadcast networks.
The UHF cap is a side issue, which will likely go away as part of this NPRM. It
is only relevant if the cap is not changed. If it is increased, the discount
simply goes away and every station is measured on the number of homes in each
Still, this is so very secondary to the issue about net neutrality. It's just
one more example of how this Chairman is in bed with a tiny handful of
special interests. Just combine the effects of eliminating national and local
owenership caps, and net neutrality, and see what results.
The fact that broadcasting is an industry in decline, as the media
conglomerates move their oligopoly to the Internet?
The congloms will gladly buy up as many stations as they can, as long as
retransmission consent is the law of the land. Sinclair and Tribune will be
under intense pressure to sell stations to the networks they are affiliated
with. At best, they may be able to fashion a new national network to compete
with the congloms, but they will need to invest heavily in content to make such
a scheme work.
The following article makes the case to eliminate the ownership caps, and puts
the real numbers into proper perspective:
While these mergers are big by traditional broadcast standards, they pale
when compared to consolidation among other media players. Several mergers
among broadband and content providers in the last three years have been
significantly larger. In 2016, for example, Charter Communications merged
with Time Warner Cable in a $65 billion deal. AT&T acquired DirecTV in a deal
worth $49 billion, and is on track to close a merger with Time Warner for
over $100 billion later this year. By comparison, the proposed Sinclair —
Tribune merger is a $3.9 billion deal.
In addition to consolidation, there is a competitive disparity between
broadcasters and other video programming distributors, especially in
comparative size and value. Consider the market capitalization for the top
non-broadcast media players: Apple ($670b); Alphabet ($598b); Amazon ($396b);
Comcast ($235b), and Netflix ($59b). By contrast, the total value of all
broadcast groups barely approaches $40 billion, which is less than the
smallest (and newest) non-broadcast video provider, Netflix.
Note that the article does not mention the size of the media conglomerates that
own stations in the largest U.S. TV markets. These are the companies that made
Netflix possible, licensing their content libraries to provide “scale.”
The reality is that competition is now moving to the Internet playing field. I
would go much further than The Hill, and simply move quickly to the logical end
result of eliminating the ownership caps.
Just let the congloms operate high power regional VHF stations and recover the
UHF spectrum. What is left of the antenna audience would still have access to
the cultural trash and fake news we now expect from the congloms.
I might argue that if net neutrality MANDATES were retained, then this stuff
about station group ownership caps would really become irrelevant. It's the
combination that doesn't pass the smell test.
This paragraph is irrelevant. There is NO connection between these subjects
Bert. Your posts are really starting to smell like week old garbage.
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